Culturals Shifts and the Election

In this Los Angeles Times article, Nonwhite Voters and Cultural Shifts Make 2012 Election Pivotal, author David Lauter discusses the hot topic of the recent election: a cultural transformation.

Within this recent election campaign between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, many analysists predicted that the change in the way our society thinks would play a huge part in determining who would win. Suddenly there was a collective feel and viewpoint of the American voting youth in regards to equality that seemed to differ from a specific party. Another political party adapted and took up those social issues and made it the only case that voting youth cared about. Equality became a huge factor, particularly in term of LGBTQ and female rights. Lauter cites issues such as same-sex groups, minorities, and unmarried women as having the biggest impacts on the votes for Obama versus Romney. The only reason Obama didn’t win in a landslide, Lautner argues, is because of America’s economic difficulties, as the Democratic party’s stance on such social issues should have been enough to secure the results.

This particular article is interesting to me because it deals with the issue of a cultural shift. While Lautner believes the shift will be the realignment of the nation’s politics (he refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon’s campaigns as having similar results), I think the result will be slightly different.

As the topic has blown up all over social media (tweets, Facebook statuses, TL;DR posts on Tumblr) the harsh division within the nation seems more evident than ever. While the youth may be aligning one way, there are still extremely large communities throughout the country that are moving towards the opposite thought. With the recent petitions of several states to secede from America in reaction to Obama’s reelection, it seem to me that a realignment is out of our grasp.

Though, to be fair, a lot of the youth piping in on this discussion of cultural division seem to not have a full grasp on what is happening other than they should care and chime in. Maybe this is all a part of what Hugo Liu would call a prestigious taste performance, of trying to fit into the crowd. Would any NYU student really openly express if they were voting for Romney on their social media? Probably not. Why? Because it would put them as being out of the norm, in what their peers might consider a bad way. In the same sense, commenting on this issue reaffirms that they are a part of that youth culture, caring about politics and equality and having voted for Obama. Several of my own friends have admitted that they posted pro-Obama tweets during the election despite the fact that they voted for Romney, simply because they did not want to be exiled by their group.

I agree with Lauter in that yes, radical changes are coming, but can we say that this will end well?


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